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Are Webs mini-Boy Scouts?

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We'll Be Loyal Scouts. WEBELOS.

The Activity Pins mimic and presage the Merit Badge Program. Camping begins to resemble Boy Scout Camping.

The Uniform begins to resemble the Boy Scout Uniform

There is no reason that it can't be lots of fun.

To my mind there is no purpose to WEBELOS if they aren't going to become Boy Scouts. BP himself that the purpose of Cubs is to prepare boys to be Boy Scouts.


Former Webelos Den Leader.

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ALB, three words "Get Den Chief(s)!!"


This should be the topic of conversation with the SM. If he can identify a boy for each of your dens, that's gravy. But you should at least start by getting one for the W1's.


By his very demeanor, a DC will reflect the culture in his troop. Something that no DL can do. (I couldn't even do it for my youngest son's den when I was an ASM in big brother's troop. The best I could do was talk about troop life. Matt, our DC, could demonstrate it on their level.)


W1s should all learn the oath, law ... They should say it together at the start of every meeting. And you should introduce to and quiz them on the meaning of the words and the insignia. That's 10 minutes of every meeting.


As far as activities go, show them this chart:


and focus on the items where the bar starts at Webelos.


For example, pioneering (lashing sticks together to build simple things like towel holders, cooking tripods, and siege engines) is seriously cool and appropriate for this age. (O.k., one mile pumpkin chuckin trebuchets may need to wait some years.) So you start on the knots -- not to be a mini-Boy Scout, but to be a pioneer (Native American or Settler)!


You don't start learning the bow-saw to be halfway to First Class before you cross-over. You learn it to be a lumber-jack and make saw-dust.


You get the idea. They are to be imitating Boy Scouts, but not as an end in itself. Rather, to get the discipline and skills to see themselves fitting into the wide world.


Keep up that spirit then in two years, you can reflect with the guys. Show them that chart again, and say "Here are the other things you can do. How 'bout sticking with a troop?" Three years after that, you talk to them and their sisters and their girlfriends and say "Anyone wanna shoot some Colt 45s?..."

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I am not sure what you mean by "preparing to learn to be boy scouts" or "to learn the stuff that you'll NEED to LEARN"; and how that differs from preparing to be a boy scout.


A suggestion: stop at the library and get a book about ages and stages of boys from childhood through adolecence. Perhaps something by Michael Gurian. It will give you a perspctive of what is appropriate at what ages. In general, in the US, children are much more capable that adults believe they are. In Webelos, the program has to be fun. Fun involves more than playing. Fun involves accomplishing new and different things. In webelos, it shouldn't be the challenges of sitting down indoors and learning ala memorizing oaths and creeds, but rather challenges as laid out in the readyman and other requirements, as you have succinctly described.


With a little familiarization from learning about the ages and stages of boys, and watching the experiences the boys have, you will find the balance of providing the proper level of challenging experiences - not so tough that 90% of the boys give up in frustration, and not so easy that the boys become bored with the activities.


Don't be afraid to let the Webelos leader push the envelope - to offer something up that is a little more challenging than you think they can handle. Because it is easy to underestimate their capabilities. It is very likely that the boys will find it fun, want to do more, and brag to their friends about the cool stuff they did. And in the event that it is obvious that the event didn't work, its easy to scale back.


As Barry often reminds us, don't let the adult fears limit the opportunities for the boys. If the Web DL guides them in challenges that they otherwise wouldn't have had, you will have given them memories that they will have for a lifetime.


good luck, and please give us updates on what your Webelos do, how they surprised you by rising to challenges that you had doubts about offering, and the things that you tried that didn't work.(This message has been edited by venividi)

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Approximately 75% of all grade four Webelos will drop out of Scouting by grade 6 (national average I learend at Philmont TC). There are several factors that cause this drop out - sports, school changes (more homework), and BOREDOM with scouts. Boys that have been in the program since TC year wan to do something different and more advanced by Webelos year. They can only stomach so mant PWD, raingutter regattas and hooky Christmas parties. Even first timers at Webelos level find more than one PWD a bore.


I learned at PTC, followed and recommend getting your Webelos to the BS program as fast as you can. Work on activity pins at a swift rate. The difference between a 4th grader's social calander and that of a 5th grader is night and day. As a 3rd grade parent you probably don't realize the opporutinites your son can take part in just a little over 18 months from now. Travel youth sports that require several days a week of practice, school clubs, band, school sports, religious ed classes that meet 1-2 nights a week in grade 5. The list goes on.


Do pins in the den as outlined in the Cub Scout 2010 program, but also use local museums, rec centers and troops to get more pins done as field trips. Sneak an extra pin in every month or 2 and you'll have 20 pins in no time. Why rush you ask?


Rushing/pushing/moving swiftly lets you spend the grade 5 portion of Webelos investigating troops in your area. It lets you do troop outdoor activites with the troop you like. It lets you visit a troop 2/3/6 times before you and your den make a decision as to which troop(s) youare going to. It helps insure a good fit for the boys with a troop. And yes not every boy has to go to the same troop. It is OK to split up.


You should be doing the BS Oath/Law and Outdoor Code as part of every den meeting. That's what most of us in BS do to start every meeting. Why? It is asked in every Scoutmaster conference and Board of Review your boys will take part in during their BS career. Perfect practice makes perfect. Besides it is a requirement of both the Webelos badge and AoL.


Webelos aren't mini scouts nor are they cub scouts. If I could redesign the whole program I'd put Webelos, Aol, and BS Scout and Tenderfoot together as a 3 continum program that functioned as its own unit. Camping would progress from Cub style day camps to a full week BS camp by the end of the third year. But that won't happen. You can do your best to move the boys to BS as quickly as THEY can handle. You'd be surprised what THEY can handle.


Final thought, Webelos is as much about preparing the PARENTS for their new role in BS as it is about preaping the Webelos for their new experiences in BS. Parents and DLs need to learn to back off, give the boys their space and expect the boy to live up to the new standards they will face. Less hand holding, more controlled failures. In other words, parents need to learn to cut the apron strings a bit (maybe not all the wat through) in Webelos. But this doesn't have to mean less fun!



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Wow! All good stuff, gang; thank you!


Jay said, "...there is no purpose to WEBELOS if they aren't going to become Boy Scouts..."


This is true, I think, but what if this 4th grade year is the only Scouting experience the boy gets? I hope it's still FUN, even if it's geared to moving on to Boy Scouts. That's my goal, anyway.


I have asked about Den Chiefs, but the Troop that's chartered by our CO only has like 5 guys, and no one's interested in hanging out with the Cub Scouts, I guess.


I have been in contact with another Pack, who similarly has a Troop attached to the same CO, one county over. They're very nice; I might see if any of their Boy Scouts need service hours or would like to be a Chief.


I was hoping that the two boys I bridged out last May would want to come back and be DC's, but so far they haven't been very active.


You know, part of what prompted my question was that I ran into one of those moms at the store the other day. Evidently, she thought that Boy Scouts would be, as has been described, "Webelos 3". She kept saying, "They don't DO anything but plan camping trips."


Anyway, thanks for all of your input, everyone. I want the Webs to WANT to move on to the Troop!


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Getting den chiefs is really difficult. You are asking middle school and high school aged boys to give up another night of the week to attend a meeting of elementary school kids. And in most cases you are asking their parent to drive them. It isn't impossible and it is a great idea, but it tends to be difficult, unless the boy has a younger sibling in the pack and a parent who was driving to the pack/den meeting that night anyway.


(I've thought about this. My son's a boy scout and a venturer. He's in OA and is sometimes on the PLC and is staffing an upcoming mini jambo. We drive him to a scouting event of some sort probably 10-15 days a month. He's great with bear/webelos/crossover aged kids and would be a wonderful den chief. Honestly I don't have time to get him there, he doesn't drive, and there aren't cub packs meeting within walking distance of our house. Not to mention he has other obligations, both in terms of school and a social life.)


So if you can get one, great. But don't hold your breath.


Meantime - Webelos has to be sort of like boy scouts or it gets really boring. I think it would be better as a 1-year program, than as an 18-month program, but the thing is that a lot of boys are still 9 (or even 8) at the end of 4th grade, and there is a huge maturity leap between cub scouts and boy scouts. I don't believe most 8/9 or even some 10 year olds are emotionally ready for boy scouting. So it is 18 months and that gives the guys a little more emotional readiness. 6 months at this age matters enormously. But it can get pretty dull for boys who have had their fill of cub scouting.


Also, around here, 5th grade is "king of the hill." Typically the oldest grade in elementary school. Those boys feel like they own the place & don't want to be associated with a program that serves 1st graders!


So giving them new challenges (like boy-scouts-lite) works. Getting them outdoors and doing more hands-on stuff is great; they eat it up and it distinguishes them from the "little kids" in the pack. But I don't think the content needs to be pure boy scouting; to my mind, the most important point is to get the boys used to the idea that THEY have a serious voice in decision making and that they must start figuring out how to do things as a team, more independently from their parents/leaders (while still having fun). This is really the essence of boy scouting. The outdoor skills, the scout oath/law, etc., will all come with experience and don't necessarily have to be drilled into them, IMO. But the mental leap from cubbing (let the den leader/parent tell us what to do and arrange it for us) to boy scouting (we're in charge so we'd better figure out what to do and go do it) is huge. Hopefully, your WDL is working on getting the boys to move in that direction.


And parents...oh, parents. I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, but I'm pretty sure that a lot of boys who drop out of scouting between 4th-6th grade do so because their parents do not understand the nature of the shift in program between cubbing and boy scouting. Thus, their frustration threshold is much too low, once the boys cross into boy scouting and they don't encourage the boys to give it time to learn and adjust to the new program. (that, and some troops run a lousy program, it must be said.) Education for parents is most definitely in order here.










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Thanks. I ~would~ like to strike the balance next year (when I'll lead my son/Webs1) between being the Big Fish in the Pack (flag ceremonies, being in charge of stuff when camping, etc...) and "Boy Scouts Lite".


I like "Boy Scouts Lite".


T-shirt!! ;0)

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We had a den of 9 boys that just crossed over. I was their new Cubmaster this year and they kept telling me that they weren't Cub Scouts anymore. I spoke to their DL about this and he said that this was something that they came up with.


However, the DL wanted them to learn the Oath and Law for their requirements so they no longer used the Cub Scout Promise or Law. When we had Pack meetings and had the Pack say the Promise, these boys ignored what had been said to them and they all said the Boy Scout Oath. This was very disruptive and would throw off the younger boys that were still trying to learn the Promise.


I had boys come right out and tell me that they were Cubs anymore. I asked him when he was crossed over because I couldn't remember it happening and since he was at a Cub Scout Pack event as a member of the Pack it didn't sound like he was a Boy Scout yet.


The Webelos have different requirements that they have to do. Each year is so very different because the boys are growing up. The boys need to be taught that when they go on their den campouts they will have additional things that they will be allowed to do but when they are with the Pack they must follow the same rules as the rest of the boys. There was a very distinct division between this den and the rest of the Pack.


Being a Webelos Scout is a different stage of Cub Scout Pack. A divided Pack is not a good thing. Keep the Webelos learning what they need to learn for the future and be good role models for those younger Cubs.

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Nice narrow vision Nancy.......



Webelos are webelos.....


Our Webelos den no longer recites the Cub promise or law. They recite the boy scout oath and law. The recite both with great pride and zeal.....The Bears can't wait to be webelos and the webelos can't wait to be boy scouts........ This is as it should be.



Don't stifle their enthusiasm. I am guessing you don't let them do their Patrol yell everytime they are mentioned at the Meeting?????? Our Pack meetings are LOUD and tons of fun, every den growls, or roars when mentioned......the webelos do their Patrol yell.....



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This year, we had 13 Tigers, 7 Bears, and 2 Webelos 2's. Our membership fell out one year, and another den imploded. So, I used the two boys (who were head and shoulders taller then the Bears, and really hated being in the same "group" as a gaggle of Tigers) as pseudo-Den Chiefs during the Pack Meetings (considering I don't have an ASM to begin with, it helped). And I had some special projects, such as when the Tigers and Bears went to make Christmas mitten-cards, the Webelos and I took some coat hangers and wire cutters and made some mobiles.


Boys getting to 5th grade really start to resent being told they're a "kid", and compared/grouped with much younger boys. It should be easier when the current Bears become W2's, since three of them have Tiger brothers and they're a cohesive group, unlike what happened to my recently-crossed batch.

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Our first year Webelos start out at pack meetings reciting the cub scout promise. As time goes by, they learn and recite the boy scout oath.


Our second year Webelos recite the boy scout oath at pack meetings because they are supposed to.


It's in their Webelos handbook. They are supposed to learn that as well as the scout law, motto, slogan, and outdoor code.


They are also supposed to learn and know the names of all the different parts of the 1st class badge.




Yeah, WEbelos is a learning/ preparing/ transitioning to boy scouts stage, but is is supposed to still be fun.


We do not turn our scouts into boy scouts! That is what the troop does. We just get them ready to join the troop that will turn them into boy scouts.


Also, Fun is not something we push aside. Webelos need to have fun. I'm not sure how any of the troops in your Co's or areas are, but our troop still has fun.


This isn't the same as getting married and getting a job! If the boy scouts do not have fun in the troop they are in...that troop is doing something wrong! Fun is not supposed to stop at Bear rank!


I am 41 years old and I have fun with my pack and I have fun when working with the troop.


I have already been asked to be an ASM with our troop.


You know what? I plan on having fun with the troop too!


So - the original question:


"Are Webs mini-Boy Scouts? "


NO! They are Webelos Scouts!


Think of them the same way as you do the US Marine Corps......."United States Marine Corps - Depart. of the Navy"


The Marines are not Navy, but a side dept of the navy. Marines are not Navy. Navy is not Marines.


Webelos are a dept of Cub Scouts.


Okay, technically they are cub scouts, but Cub Scouts are 3 differet classes: Tiger Scouts, Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts.


All are cub scouts, but each is like a different dept within BSA.


I guess Boy Scouts are like the Army or something? :)


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>>Our second year Webelos recite the boy scout oath at pack meetings because they are supposed to.


It's in their Webelos handbook. They are supposed to learn that as well as the scout law, motto, slogan, and outdoor code.

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Ummm...yeah... LOL!


Typing too fast. :)


Nah, it doesn't say anywhere ( that I know of) of what they should do at any pack meeting. Technically, they aren't supposed to recite anything except The Pledge of Allegience.


That is how we do it at pack meetings.


Usually they all recite the Cub Scout promise. When the Webelos take their turn at recognition, they usually start out by saying the Boy Scout Oath.


When I was saying SUPPOSED TO , I was refering to learning it and reciting it ( wether at home, den meetings, pack meetings, etc.. )

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